Saturday Odds & Sods: Eyes Of The World

Train Smoke by Edvard Munch.

It’s going to be another cold weekend in New Orleans. Yesterday’s high temperature was at midnight, and it steadily declined thereby requiring me to layer up; beats the hell out of lawyering up. I’m not sure if I looked more like a seven-layer burrito, a wedding cake, or the Michelin Man. It was a dress rehearsal for today’s den day. The Den of Muses is a warehouse and it holds the cold. Holy Raymond Brrrrrr, Batman.

The big local news is that the Saints won their first playoff game and are playing in the frozen North against the Minnesota Vikings. I’m glad it’s in a domed stadium for two reasons. First, many New Orleanians are attending the game and we’re not used to the arctic cold. Second, a domed stadium is the Saints natural habitat: Drew Brees is one of the greatest indoor athletes ever. Hmm, that sounds naughty but you know what I mean. I hope all the Packers fans out there are rooting for my guys.

I chose a lesser known painting by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch because it’s bloody cold and I mocked Norwegian food on Thursday. The post title is one of my better efforts so it bears repeating: Shithead Says Shithole.

Munch’s most famous painting is, of course, The Scream. When Dr. A was writing her doctoral dissertation, she had a blow up doll of The Scream dude in her office as a stress reliever. She passed it on to our friend Dr. Bonster so she could do likewise. I’m not sure what happened to the blow-up screamster. Perhaps it ended up in the office of Richard Belzer who played Detective John Munch on Homicide and Law & Order SUV. I’ve always wondered what kind of SUV it is: a Ford Exploder? Yeah, I know it’s SVU but it’s a pun I’ve been making for years and you know how I am.

January in my house means the music of the Grateful Dead. I’ve been indoctrinating young Paul Drake in the ways of the Deadhead and he seems down with it. This week’s theme song was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter in 1974 and became a fixture on the band’s, and its spin-offs, set list. First up is the studio version from Wake of the Flood followed by an epic 1990 live version with Branford Marsalis on saxophone. I could call it When Homies Collide but I won’t. Oops, guess I just did. Never mind.

Now that we’ve awakened to discover the new day or some such shit, let’s jump to the break. We better make it snappy after that awkward paraphrase of Robert Hunter’s lyrics.

We begin our second act with one of the dumber moments in recent memory. That’s right: the whole Oprah for president mishigas.

Just Say Noprah: I originally planned to write a stand alone post about the nutty reaction to Ms. Winfrey’s good speech at a minor awards show. I thought better of it because I had bigger fish to fry. Plus, I don’t want to encourage her and the dippier people out there who think this daft notion is a good idea. It is not: she has better views than Trump but equals his egomania. Just say Noprah.

I’d like to highlight two pieces. First, longtime reader, crack vanner, and misguided Cam Newton fan, Lex Alexander has a fine take at his joint. I particularly like this passage:

And there’s one other thing about Oprah’s political savvy that bugs me perhaps more than it should, but it bugs me a lot so I’m gonna talk about it anyway: After that powerful speech about the plight of women and the need for change, she allowed the public conversation to become about her and not about the position she was championing. She made no effort that I can see to redirect the public conversation back to that issue, and she apparently didn’t coach Stedman Graham to do the same. No one gets where she has gotten without some ego, but I can’t help wondering whether she doesn’t harbor at least some of the narcissism that Trump does. And, boy howdy, narcissism is literally the last thing we need in our next president.

Boy howdy? Are you Goober Pyle now, Lex? I’m worried.

I know a trial balloon when I see one and that’s why I’m taking potshots at it. I am, admittedly, not an Oprah fan. The title of a piece by Kurt Andersen at Slate explains some of the reasons why: Oprah Winfrey Helped Create Our Irrational Pseudo Scientific American Fantasyland. I wish Kurt would tell us what he really thinks.

If nothing else, Oprah deserves condemnation for inflicting the quackery that is The Dr. Oz Show on the world. Just say Noprah.

Let’s move on to a piece about the first pet-free (pet-less?) White House since the early days of the Republic.

Gone To The Dogs: The Insult Comedian and his family have never had pets. In fact, he harbors some weird ideas about them, especially dogs. I have a “reading assignment” for him:  an excellent op-ed by Jennifer Weiner at the failing NYT : What The President Doesn’t Get About Dogs.

I do not trust people who dislike animals. I grew up with dogs but have become a cat person; mostly because I like big dogs such as Great Danes, Huskies, and Labs. Not only would Della Street not approve of a dog but we have a postage stamp size back yard. I still enjoy meeting my friends dogs and seeing their pictures on social media. I have been known to pet dogs being walked by random strangers in my hood. In short, I like critters.

The Insult Comedian uses the word dog as a perjorative:

This is not the first time Mr. Trump has employed canine similes to describe an especially odious opponent, an enemy who has been not just vanquished but humiliated to the point that his very humanity is in doubt.

In 2016, Eric Levitz of New York magazine compiled some of Mr. Trump’s “like a dog” tweets to give a snapshot of how our leader sees man’s best friend:

Erick Erickson, who once disinvited Mr. Trump from a Red State forum, got “fired like a dog.”

Glenn Beck got fired “like a dog.”

Bill Maher got “fired from ABC — in fact, fired like a dog!”

The president has used “dog” to describe the looks of a woman he does not like (Arianna Huffington is a “dog who wrongfully comments on me.”). An unfaithful woman cheats on her man “like a dog” (Kristen Stewart). A man who loses an election “choked like a dog” (Mitt Romney). Dogs are failures, dogs are unattractive, dogs are unworthy of faith.

Which, as anyone who has spent five minutes in a dog’s company could tell you, is pretty much the opposite of how dogs are.

One would think that a man who surrounds himself with sycophants, yes men, and greasy enablers like Conway and Huckabee Sanders would like having a pooch around the palace. Dogs offer unconditional love and approval. I guess the Darnold likes his sycophants to have two legs. I’m pretty sure that Slumlord Jared shits on the rug whenever his FIL yells at him. How’s that different from having a dog? Now that I think of it, a dog would be more loyal than that rat bastard Kushner.

Before we shift gears, it’s time for a segmentally appropriate musical interlude:

Now that I’ve mentioned the dread Sarah Huckabee Sanders, it’s time to dog her father.

Separated At Birth: Sarah Huckabee Sanders was memorably paired with Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester back in November. I cannot resist repeating myself.

I’d like to apologize in advance to the memory of the late Jim Nabors for pairing him with Mike Huckabee but it works:

Golleeee or as Cousin Goober or my man Lex would say, boy howdy.

It’s time to highlight a distinguished member of the New Orleans pun community.

Tweet Of The Week: The best thing I read about Steve Bannon’s departure from Breitbart was this tweet by Herriman biographer and Laissez Boy, Michael Tisserand.

I briefly considered stealing the pun but decided not to go all Milton Berle on Michael’s ass. After all, he signed my copy of Krazy on the parade route last year:

Holy yellow pants peril, Batman.

Since this has been a persistently silly edition of the Saturday post, it’s time to try and give you a Star Wars boner, 30 Rock style.

Saturday GIF Horse: Here’s the funniest Greek-American woman in the world, Tina Fey, dressed as Princess Leia as she attempts to dodge jury duty.

Let’s close things out with  some music.

Saturday Classic: Blues and R&B singer/songwriter Denise LaSalle died this week at the age of 78. Here’s her classic 1972 debut album, Trapped By A Thing Called Love.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to teevee’s Paul Drake and Della Street. I hope our Paul and Della will eventually get on as well. This cat referee thing is wearing me out.